Tattoos are a popular form of body art that can be used to express oneself and make a statement. Unfortunately, the ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by tanning beds can cause serious damage to tattoos, leading to fading and discoloration. To avoid this, it is important to take steps to protect tattoos when using tanning beds.

Use Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen to any exposed skin before entering a tanning bed is essential for protecting tattoos. Sunscreen helps to block out UV rays, reducing the amount of damage that can be done to tattoos. When choosing a sunscreen, look for one that has an SPF rating of at least 30 and is labeled as “broad spectrum” or “water resistant.” It is also important to choose a sunscreen that is specifically designed for tattoos, as these products are formulated to be less likely to cause irritation or staining.

Wear Protective Clothing

In addition to sunscreen, wearing protective clothing is another way to help protect tattoos when using a tanning bed. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are ideal, as they provide extra coverage. Look for clothing made with lightweight, breathable materials that are designed to block out UV rays. Additionally, hats and sunglasses can also help to protect tattoos from the sun’s rays.

Apply Petroleum Jelly or Emollient Cream

Applying petroleum jelly or an emollient cream to tattoos before tanning can help to protect them from the harsh UV rays. The barrier created by the product can help to reduce the amount of radiation that reaches the tattoo, thus preventing it from becoming damaged. When applying the product, be sure to only use a thin layer and avoid getting it on the surrounding skin. After tanning, it is important to wash off the product to prevent irritation.

Avoid UVA Rays

Tanning beds emit both UVA and UVB rays, and it is important to avoid UVA rays when protecting tattoos. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, making them more damaging than UVB rays. To determine which type of rays a tanning bed uses, look for labels such as “UVA only” or “UVB only.” If the label does not specify, it is best to avoid the tanning bed altogether.

Limit Tanning Time

The longer you spend in a tanning bed, the more exposure your tattoos will have to UV rays. To minimize the risk of damage, it is important to limit the amount of time spent in a tanning bed. A good rule of thumb is to limit each session to no more than 15 minutes. Additionally, it is important to wait at least 48 hours between tanning sessions to give the skin time to recover.

Cover Tattooed Area

Covering the tattooed area with a towel or other material can help to provide additional protection from UV radiation. Be sure to use a thick, opaque material that is designed to block out UV rays. Additionally, it is important to change the material after each tanning session to ensure that it remains effective.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is key when it comes to protecting tattoos from the damaging effects of tanning beds. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after tanning can help to keep the skin hydrated and reduce the risk of dehydration. Additionally, it is important to apply a moisturizer to the tattooed area after tanning to help keep it hydrated and protected.


Protecting tattoos from the damaging effects of tanning beds is essential to preserving the look and longevity of your ink. By following these simple tips, including applying sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, applying petroleum jelly or emollient cream, avoiding UVA rays, limiting tanning time, covering the tattooed area, and staying hydrated, you can ensure that your tattoos remain vibrant and intact.

By Happy Recommender

Hi, I'm Happy Recommender, and I have a passion for sharing intriguing and beneficial products with others. I am also an enthusiast of learning and take pleasure in simplifying complex ideas.

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